Mosaic Forest Management’s Mount Newton Seed Orchard Celebrates 40 Years
Saanichton, B.C. – Today, local leaders and invited guests joined management and staff of Mosaic Forest Management in celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Mount Newton Seed Orchard and its incredible contribution to sustainable forestry on B.C.’s Coast.
The 100 acre orchard was established in 1979 by two historic leaders of the BC forest industry – BC Forest Products and Crown Zellerbach. Owned today by TimberWest and managed by Mosaic Forest Management, the orchard has produced enough seed to grow more than 250 million trees in its four decades of operation.
“This is a proud milestone for our company and a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the many people in our organization and within the Province’s Tree Improvement Program. Orchards like ours are where the sustainability of BC’s forests begin. By continually improving the seed stock, we grow trees that are better adapted to thrive in a changing environment. We are honoured to be a significant part of the effort towards ensuring strong, sustainable and resilient forests in BC,” said Mosaic President and CEO, Jeff Zweig.
“We want to build a strong, healthy coast forest economy for all British Columbians,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Reforesting harvested areas provides jobs through silviculture work and tree-planting, and using high-quality tree seed contributes to the resiliency of new stands in the face of climate change. Congratulations to the Mount Newton Seed Orchard on this milestone in forest sustainability.”
Located on the Saanich peninsula, the orchard contains more than 6,000 established trees, including Douglas-fir, western redcedar, western hemlock and a newly-established western white pine grove. The orchard currently produces enough seed to grow 8 million Douglas-fir seedlings annually, with a goal of increasing that figure to 12 million over the next 10 years.
“Mount Newton Seed Orchard provides our company with high-quality tree seed, naturally bred to deliver superior resiliency and growth,” said Mosaic’s VP Forest & Sustainability and Chief Forester, Domenico Iannidinardo. “This investment in the seedlings we plant and the future health of our forest estate has never been more critical. We are proud of Mount Newton’s significant contribution to sustainability in B.C.’s coastal forests.”
“With the affiliation of management activities for TimberWest and Island Timberlands under Mosaic Forest Management, we are focused on increasing our production to meet the needs of both companies,” said Bevin Wigmore, Mosaic’s Tree Improvement Manager. “While we celebrate our 40 year history, we look ahead with excitement to the future of our orchard and its growing impact on sustaining healthy forests on B.C.’s coast.”
Mount Newton’s orchard trees originate from the B.C. Government’s Tree Improvement Program where, with support from the Forest Genetics Council of B.C., tree improvement research and breeding is conducted ensuring the strictest standards are maintained to preserve genetic diversity.
“The Mount Newton Seed Orchard is a testament to the enduring benefit of B.C.’s Tree Improvement Program and our partnerships with the forest sector to grow and help the maintenance of healthy, resilient forests,” said B.C.’s Chief Forester Diane Nicholls. “Our Ministry is honoured to join Mosaic in celebrating 40 years of research and collaboration at Mount Newton that have made such an important contribution to coastal forests.”
About Mosaic Forest Management Corp.
In November 2018, TimberWest and Island Timberlands affiliated under the management of Mosaic Forest Management Corp. to pursue a range of economic, social and environmental benefits. The affiliated companies have operated on Vancouver Island for over a century, delivering sustainable forest management within their private forest lands and Crown tenure areas. Mosaic employs several thousand people directly and indirectly to achieve the best economic, social and sustainability outcomes from the working forest. For more information, visit mosaicforests.com.
About B.C.’s Tree Improvement Program
The Tree Improvement Program is an operational investment plan for managing the genetic resources in B.C.’s forest. The program focuses on improving the public forest asset base by supporting development and availability of genetically well-adapted, high-quality reforestation material originating from natural sources, and conserving our forest gene resources. In B.C., there are 50 breeding and improvement programs for different species and seed planning zone combinations. For more information, visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/forestry/managing-our-forest-resources/tree-seed.